Pierce Hawthorne, we hardly knew ye.
Actually, wait, that's not quite right. I, at least, felt like I knew Pierce a little too well.
Hawthorne's cranky, volatile rages (which themselves were not so distinguishable from Chevy Chase's own cranky, volatile rages) were regularly the weakest element of Community; and Hawthorne himself was often the weakest link, much funnier on paper than he was in action.
Which is what made Community Season 5 Episode 4 the perfect tribute to Pierce - from weirdo religious cult to gross-out semen jokes, the episode played with Pierce as a concept, and served as a reminder to me of just how damned funny that concept was (an idea that was easily lost while watching Chase pucker his way through Hawthorne's belligerent antics every week).
Pierce was at his funniest when he didn't actually exist, it turns out. Go figure.
Unlike the tightly coiled lunatic majesty of Community Season 5 Episode 3, this half-hour wasn't perfect; it was mostly a delivery system for searing Community quotes and one-liners. But when the one-liners are this good, can you really get all that mad about it?
This episode also marked the beginning of the end for Donald Glover on Community. Glover's Troy was perhaps the opposite of Chase's Hawthorne: a goofy, child-like ex-jock who didn't sound particularly special on paper, but was a delight (dare I say luminous?) ( No, I dare not) on the screen.
Of course, Glover's delightful on-screen presence is exactly what's carrying him away from Greendale, on to greener pastures that are rightfully his as the show's break-out star.
His send-off was classic Community, and nicely represented the tenderness and innocence that Troy brought to the group - a silly moment turned surprisingly sweet, for a second, before turning back again. Who will temper Abed's madness now? Who will think about Annie's Boobs? Who will have an awkward sexual past with Britta that we're apparently never going to mention ever again? We're just gonna have to wait and see.
Will the gang choke on their lack of child-like wonder in Troy's absence? Will someone else have to step up and become the villain with Pierce out of the picture? And, most importantly:
Will you miss Troy?